Money Magnet poised for Eileen Cliggott Memorial
RICHARD AZAN's MONEY MAGNET will have topweight 126lb as the top-rated grade one horse in Saturday's Eileen Cliggott Memorial at six and a half furlongs, facing four rivals including stablemate PEKING CRUZ, carrying 107lb, after being the victim of an unfortunate interference in the lower class on Wednesday.
A winner at five furlongs straight in the Reggae Trophy on January 19, beating sprint champion CHACE THE GREAT by a length, MONEY MAGNET returns 15lb heavier, the first time she will ever carry topweight in grade one, constantly hounded by either SHE'S A MANEATER or CHACE THE GREAT.
With neither grade one star in the event, MONEY MAGNET gets a race which she can dominate despite giving away weight all around.
HOUDINI'S MAGIC and PERFECT NEIGHBOUR will both find the trip on the sharp side whereas Anthony Nunes' EXHILARATE ran on Wednesday and has skipped a class to contest a distance at which she barely scraped home two classes lower on Boxing Day.
Azan smartly has PEKING CRUZ in the event, despite him nearly being brought down by NUCLEAR FLIGHT on Wednesday, no doubt as a rabbit to keep EXHILARATE busy, foiling what appears to be Nunes' plan to have his speedster set up the race for HOUDINI'S MAGIC.
In terms of distance, six and a half furlongs suits MONEY MAGNET better than any of her rivals. Before winning out of the straight on January 19, her previous victory was in October's Saint Cecelia Trophy at six and a half, clocking 1:18.0 with 126lb among open allowance company, her prep race for December's Diamond Mile.
Azan made the five-year-old mare skip November's Caribbean Sprint and pointed her to the December 1 Diamond Mile in which she finished fourth, six lengths behind WILL IN CHARGE, after disputing the lead and was third up to a furlong out behind WILL IN CHARGE and CHACE THE GREAT, carrying 118lb.
Barbadian Simon Husbands has tons of experience and will know exactly how to use MONEY MAGNET's pace down the backstretch. He is a powerhouse rider and will be hard to deny in a last-furlong battle.